Monday, August 30, 2010

MIA, lung biopsy tomorrow

Apparently I'm collecting biopsies -- hey, it'll be all the rage, just you wait and see. I've had two since my last post, ones I don't even think I mentioned were a possibility -- a simple skin biopsy for a recently suspicious mole on my foot and a biopsy of my reconstructed breast. I discovered some lumps in the breast and had them ultrasounded months ago, but they lit up on one of my many scans so off for a biopsy I went.

Thankfully both of these were benign.

Let's hope that good news wagon keeps on rolling because tomorrow is the BIG ONE, the lung biopsy. It will be done with a needle, and guided by some sort of imaging (more radiation!) -- but there is almost a 50/50 chance of lung collapse which really freaks me out. I'm told it is often not a big deal, that only rarely is a chest tube needed (2%)...but just the idea of it all has me scared out of my wits.

So scared, in fact, that I've been deep, deep in denial about the whole thing. I haven't even given it much of a thought until tonight at the eleventh hour, if you will. I also haven't written a word, poetic, fiction or blog-wise, in ages. Writer's block is a sure sign I'm in pure animal survival mode, off hiding someplace and licking my metaphoric and soon-to-be all too real wounds. I'm not sure silence is good for me so despite the fact that I want to pull the covers up tighter over my head I came here. I need to shed some light into the dark places.

And to that end, this is what I'm hoping: I'm hoping that when I arrive at the hospital tomorrow and they set up all the machines and start scanning me to find that one large nodule that the radiologist thinks he can "get" that it is magically gone. After that they'll keep scanning and all the little nodules will have disappeared, must have been some sort of mysterious inflamation due to the pneumonia I may or may not have had. Nothing to biopsy, sorry to waste your time, you can go home now.

The pulmonary guy I saw at Sloan Kettering last week thinks that is what this is, just some residual inflamation. My oncologist keeps saying this can't be metastasis, it just can't be, as if she is practically willing it not to be. My 47th birthday is in less than two weeks. I really need to have something to celebrate this year.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, 'kay? Oh, and as usual, to all my dear friends new & old, call me bitch for luck ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going nuts...

I wish there was upbeat or even definitive news to share, but there’s not.

I wish I could say I am doing well in the interim, but I’m not.

The doctors, in their infinite wisdom, have now decided that I should wait for at least a few more weeks before scheduling the lung biopsy. This is likely because A) they’re hoping the pulmonary nodules will have shrunk and/or disappeared, or B) they will have grown, thus making an accurate biopsy easier. Let’s go with option A, shall we? Either way, while the waiting is nerve wracking I’m not complaining…the idea of having my lungs poked with a needle isn’t something I’m chomping at the bit to experience. I can wait.

On the other hand, emotionally I feel like I’m falling slowly into a pit. I don’t sleep well, even with pharmaceutical aid, and I cry at the drop of a hat. Some days are almost normal, shockingly so, actually. But then there are days when I just can’t seem to control my emotions for even a minute.

What’s probably not helping is that I’ve now got two injections for ovarian ablation under my belt….(literally, that’s where they give you the shot, in your lower abdomen)…and I’ve been taking Arimidex, the estrogen blocking drug I’ll be on for at least the next five years. While I was in “chemopause” before, I suspect that this new hormonal deficit has pushed me a bit over the edge. No estrogen, no mood control at the moment.

To top it all off lymphedema has acted up in earnest…I now have visible swelling in my lower arm. I am not handling that just freaks me out. But I keep doing my home care, even tho it’s not having any effect. I can’t do simple activities in the way I’m accustomed to and it is making me feel suddenly very old, as if piece by piece life as I once knew it has been chipped away.

The one year anniversary of my mastectomy was July 27th. I remember last year as I laid there on the operating table waiting to go under the anesthesia I tried to stay focused on the future, almost as if willing myself to be fast forwarded to a time beyond what I was about to endure. I comforted myself with the promise that by the same time next year it would all be behind me…that in whatever shape I was left physically at least the cancer journey would be over.

Not so. Maybe that was a foolish idea anyway.

You know, I probably could have written the shortest entry in my entire blogging history by just saying this: things totally suck.

I’m sorry for the long absence, and now the totally depressing post, but that’s pretty much what’s going on in a nutshell. A really crappy little nutshell.